Top 10 kitchen gadgets you'll only use once

Categories: Advice

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My favorite recent Shefzilla post involves Stewart Woodman confessing his love for hippies ("I have always found underarm hair on chicks very hot.") and mocking the screw-on peanut butter mixer, calling it "the best argument for keeping pot illegal I have seen/heard in a long time."

Having a background in product design, I'm particlarly persnickity about kitchen gadgets. I once sent an Oxo dish scrubbing brush back to the manufacturer with a complaint about its poorly designed locking mechanism for the sponge because I know they're a company that cares about those things (love the palm scrubber and easy-read liquid measuring cup, btw).

It seems there are an awful lot of totally gratuitous kitchen gadgets out there and I have to agree with Shefzilla that I'd have to think the peanut butter mixer is one of them. True, there may be a need to stir natural peanut butter before use, as the oil tends to separate and float on top, but assuming you're going to spread the peanut butter on a piece of bread or spoon it into a measuring cup, why not just stir it with the utensil in your hand vs. a product which exists for the sole purpose of stiring peanut butter? I've actually seen one of these things in real life, so if its owner wants to discuss the peanut butter stirrer's merits in the comments section, please, by all means, do so.

I also recently received a press release from Williams-Sonoma about an equally unnecessary product:

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Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone Introduces the Newest Item from his Range of Kitchen Solutions: the "Keep it Clean" Spoon Rest Now available at Williams-Sonoma for $39.95. This innovative product is the perfect addition to any kitchen! With a sleek unit built-in to hold water, this beautiful ceramic spoon rest allows you to have a clean spoon every time you set it down, which keeps your kitchen sparkling clean! "I always wanted a spoon rest that could give me back a clean spoon each time I put it down..." - Curtis Stone

Is it just me, or does it seem a little excessive to spend $40 on this little dish when you could just rinse your spoon off and set it on the counter or rest the spoon in a water glass?

In any case, on the subject of kitchen gadgets, Popular Mechanics picked out 10 amazingly specific, single-use products including a turtle-shaped device used for keeping beer in layers when pouring Black & Tans. The only product I've used among those featured is the Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker and found that it didn't really freeze the ice cream very well. Some of the gadgets look pretty stupid (the pro pizza slicer? really?) but I have to say I'm intrigued by the jumbo jerky works gun and the remote control beer pager--epecially after reading this promotional copy!

Sometimes, particularly after knocking back a few, it can be difficult to pinpoint where you put your latest beer. Did you leave it next to the fridge, on top of the TV, or (admit it) on the back of the toilet? This handy pager ensures that you will never loose another can, whether you are tinkering in the kitchen or kicking back with the guys and watching the game.

The cozy-coaster combo comes with a pocket-size pager that clips to your belt. When you can't find your cold one, simply press the red button--emergency!--and the coaster lights up and emits an oh-so-hilarious belching sound. It works from up to 60 ft. away, even through walls. Just make sure not to misplace the remote--your beer won't be able to locate it.

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